Tuesday, July 28, 2009

RHS Tatton Park Flower Show 1

Last Sunday me and Cat went with the girls (Hils, Angela, and Julia) to the last big RHS flower show of the year at Tatton Park. It is the final hurrah to the summer, and the equivalent of the Chelsea of the North. All the other flower shows are southern based. This was my third year of visiting, and I love the wait for the rest of the year. Its like being allowed in a sweet shop once a year, and I have a very sweet tooth!There was masses of gardens (about sixty all told), hundreds of horticulture and sundry shops, the Country Life magazine pavilion, the enormous Floral Marquee, food courts, plant society's marquee, the florist's tent, and a band stand. All children got in free this year as well, the show was quite child friendly with schools gardens, and activities around the grounds like painting and making vegetable faces..

This post will be about some of the Show gardens. There were recurrent themes throughout all the gardens. Ecology and recycling seemed high up on the designers plans. The opening photo is of the Aughton Green landscapes/Big Pond Company. I love running water, and colourful planting. People stood and looked at the waterfall at the end.I would love a big garden with a big pond like this one..

The show was packed full of colour which will become apparent with the photos. Not green like Chelsea last year. The designers listened to peoples complaints and decided to use as many colours as possible. This one exhibits a wide pallet of colours softly planting the hard edges of the ponds.

The gardens once planted look like they have been around for years. Its amazing how the insects buzz into the gardens like this Bee. He was happy at the Lavender..

The Bridgemere nursery garden was designed by Roger Pierce, and Johnathon Tew. It has a mixture of Herbs, Herbaceous plants, Vegetables, and Fruit Trees. There was a table and chairs in the middle amongst the billowing plants of the borders.

I am a fan of mass planting and do not like bare soil. These guys packed the plants into this garden and it was spectacular..

This was one of my favourite show gardens called the Little Hen Rescue garden. It was a garden usable by people to relax, and for chickens to run about. I loved the planting of the oranges and purples along the edges of the garden. A water container was decorated with orange and yellow snooker balls..

The plants are all in raised beds to avoid the pecking attention of the Chickens. This reminded me of last years Ladies That Lunch garden. The plant sale at the end of the show went to the charity that rescues thousands of battery and barn Hens. The planting here was done to make it low maintenance. I want some chickens one day...

The show this year had a new class called young designer of the year. they chose two young designers under the age of 25, from many entrants and let them design, and build a show garden. Next years Tatton Park flower show will have three young designers exhibiting. This entry was called Revolution was by Andy Gibson and Paul Duffy.

The maddest part was the rounded decking in the centre had ropes attached to it. The two Bamboos were planted in this circle. The decking could be rotated around 360 degrees to move the shade where the sun is. I like the Chamomile bench that you can fragrantly lie on. I love this Echinaceas next to the Sambucus. These cone flowers were the flower that was in the most gardens on display.

The Thyme and Money for Cancer Research garden played on the name of the herb. It used its charity logo as the main design in the corner. The planting radiated out with soft planting along hard lines. there were a row of bay trees, and a grove of Olive Trees that ranged from young to 200 years old.

Mary Hoult designed it, and had a Mediterranean feel to it with the gravel and terracotta pots. It was full of carefully thought out symbolism. I just liked it, I do not think too hard about the inner meanings. I read the brochure to see what the designers were thinking about.

From the back corner you can see the herb planting, bay trees, and the Olive Trees that were planted from young to oldest..

I liked this garden called Revolution by Phillipa Probert. the Seating areas had these groovy yellow cubed cushions. The planting was done along the lemon yellow coloured planters, in various angles.

This was the second of the young designer garden by Lee Belgrau called Red Rhythm. It won a gold medal and him the title of Young Designer of the year. Its a garden of contrasts, and lovely planting. The Red Structures make it vertical, and there is a still water feature by the seating area. He wanted to attract Bee's into the garden with nectar rich plants.

July is the month for the Crocosmias, and he has planted them under the red pillars along with grasses, and Heucheras.

This garden was called That Awkward Corner by Clive Scott. It was sponsored by the Pathology network. A lot of the plants used have used now in medicine such as Willow for Aspirin, and Foxgloves for Digoxin. This was a garden designed for a shady corner. Strangely for this years show it had no hard surfaces, so the rain water would go down to the water table.

This garden was called the Fibonacci Numbers In Nature. Stephen Dennis designed a minimalistic garden based on the numbers. The curves of Snail shells, the whorls of Daisy's and sunflowers all follow the Fibonacci numbers. The metal structure was supposed to be like the Birds nest stadium in Beijing.

This was called Strictly Come Gardening. It was full of curves, and metal figurines dancing. A play on the dancing show here..

This is a very unusual fountain, fed by metal channels that curved around the gardens paths..

The dancing figurines spin around the mass planting. Grasses, and soft pastel flowers underneath them..

I love the Lavenders and Agapanthus. The planting follows the light blue walls around the garden. From every angle it is curves..

A sunken Seating area is just below the fountain, surrounded by masses of flowers. You'd disappear under the flowers invisible from the ground above.

The last photo today is from the Lake District Bluebird garden. The dry stone wall is in a figure eight loop. This was based on the infinity symbol planted on the side of the boats attempting the water speed record. The Bluebird K7 was sat nearby, the last boat that Donald Campbell attempted in the 1960's.
I still need to blog about the Back To Back gardens, school gardens, visionary gardens, and the bedding plant displays.
More from Tatton tomorrow

1 comment:

Lesley said...

Fantastic post David and gorgeous photographs! It's great to hear that the money from the plant sales is going towards helping rescued battery hens.... a charity close to my heart. You need to get yourself some hens. Hubby and I had some years ago and they are the lovliest creatures to have as pets..... as well as the bonus of eggs! :D It was so relaxing just being with them and they even let us cuddle them. lol

I love the garden in the first photograph.... the one with the waterfall. I'd love a feature like that but we're not very technical and couldn't afford to pay someone to build it for us. Oh well, dream on. :O)